USAID & Partners Explore Strategic Opportunities with the Private Sector in Pará

View of fishing region
ABF and PPA initiatives demonstrate the use of Terrabio

November/December 2023 – Teams from USAID, the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, and partners visited Horta da Terra, INOCAS, and Fishing Forever. In addition, they met with representatives and other organizations working with the private sector in Pará state.

Partnerships with the private sector are essential to ensure the sustainability of biodiversity conservation initiatives in the Amazon. This collaboration includes supporting small businesses that generate a positive impact in the region. USAID participated in the co-creation of the Amazon Biodiversity Fund (ABF), a fund that aims to overcome the financial challenges faced by companies, startups, and projects in the Amazon, offering long-term impact investment to finance sustainable ventures, while also contributing to biodiversity and ecosystem conservation.

Horta da Terra is an agroindustrial enterprise that works with Amazon ingredients, especially unconventional food plants (UFPs, or PANCs in the Portuguese acronym). In 2021, Horta received ABF funding and is now monitored with the innovative TerraBio methodology. 

Developed by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT and USAID, TerraBio adopts a monitoring, evaluation, and analysis approach to generate evidence on environmental impacts. It evaluates businesses that commercialize forest and sustainable agriculture products and invest in sustainable business models. The tool integrates cutting-edge geospatial data technologies with environmental DNA to assess various models of land use and investment in terms of their relative impacts on biodiversity.

“Our production method aims to conserve biodiversity, having a methodology that helps us to prove this is wonderful. It is always a pleasure to welcome partners and show them our work,” said Bruno Kato, CEO of Horta da Terra.

This is the second round of TerraBio application at Horta da Terra, and this year's results were shared first-hand with the visitors. Participants conducted soil collection to understand the TerraBio methodology

“We are developing cutting-edge technology that can give investors - and USAID - a tested, and cost-effective way to track biodiversity impacts,” commented USAID Director Mark Carrato.

Another company supported by the ABF is INOCAS, an innovative enterprise that aims to regenerate degraded pastures in partnership with family farmers through the planting of macaúba. It is a native Brazilian palm tree that is resistant to droughts and can reach up to 25 meters in height. Its fruits grow in bunches, and each tree can produce up to 150 kilos of fruit. The fruit pulp is edible and sweet, and can be used for the production of oil and flour, as well as soap.

Another part of working with the private sector in the Amazon is directly involving companies and communities in biodiversity conservation. While ABF focus on financing, the PPA engages directly with organizations on the ground, to help support local enterprises and connect them with possible investors. 

So, during the trip, the USAID team met with several members of the projects supported by the Partnership Platform for the Amazon (PPA), a multisectoral collective action initiative that aims to develop and identify and co-finance innovative and tangible solutions that marry economic development and biodiversity conservation in the Brazilian Amazon. They met PPA partners including Manioca, Peabiru Produtos da Floresta, Alcoa, 100% Amazônia, and IEB. Participants discussed the growing field of forest product businesses and the role the private sector plays in conserving Amazon biodiversity.

The team visited the mangroves of the Caeté-Taperaçu Extractive Reserve to observe fishing and biodiversity monitoring, and had a chance to talk with local fishers. The coast of Pará is home to one of the largest mangrove areas in the world. Mangroves are important for storing carbon, and serve as nurseries for biodiversity, besides providing a resource-based livelihood for fishing communities that make their homes among the mangroves. 

Participants learned about RARE Brazil's Fishing Forever project, supported by USAID via the PPA, which works with communities, governments, and other partners to strengthen the sustainable management and economic outcomes of small-scale fishing communities in the region.